Led by new episodes of Survivor: Philippines, Criminal Minds, and CSI, CBS won the night overall amongst the major networks with a 7.4 rating, averaging 11.54 million viewers. However, the race for second was very contentious, as FOX averaged a 4.7/7 and 8.08 million viewers with The X Factor, allowing the network to stay apace of the 4.6/7 and 7.97 million viewers for ABC and the 4.9/8 and 7.96 million viewers for NBC, with The CW averaging a 1.8/3 and 2.89 million viewers.
There was variety across-the-board in the ratings patterns, however, as Christmas-themed programming brought the numbers of CBS’s rival networks to a higher number than last week’s pre-Thanksgiving tally.
ABC’s “A Charlie Brown Christmas” won the 8:00 PM hour and helped the network tie with FOX for the win in the key 18-49 demo, as The X Factor was up significantly from last week’s pre-holiday rating. Meanwhile, NBC’s “Christmas in Rockefeller Center” and “SNL Christmas” helped keep NBC in the conversation, although the network ultimately finished fourth among adults 18-49, just behind CBS.
The hourly breakdown:
8 p.m. – “Survivor: Philippines” won the 8:00 PM hour overall for CBS with 10.35 million viewers, and tying for second with a 2.7 rating among adults 18-49. NBC’s “Christmas in Rockefeller Center” special was firmly in second with 9.09 million viewers and a 2.1 key demo rating (for fourth place). ABC’s “A Charlie Brown Christmas,” an enduring holiday classic, averaged 8.85 million viewer and won the hour among adults 18-49 with a 2.9 rating. The first hour of FOX’s “The X Factor” performances finished fourth with 7.73 million viewers, although it tied for second among adults 18-49 with a 2.7 key demo rating, improving significantly on last week’s numbers. The CW’s “Arrow” did its usual numbers, with 3.7 million viewers and a 1.2 key demo rating.
9 p.m. – “Criminal Minds” held down the fort for CBS at 9:00 PM with 12.27 million viewers, and finishing a close third among adults in the key demo with a 2.9 rating. ABC, meanwhile, won the hour among the key demo, finishing second overall with “Modern Family”, garnering 11.95 million viewers with a 4.7 key demo rating, while “Suburgatory” did 6.88 million viewers and a 2.6 key demo. The second hour of FOX’s “The X Factor” averaged 8.44 million viewers for third, placing second among adults 18-49 with a 3.0 key demo rating. NBC’s “SNL Christmas” averaged a solid 8.28 million viewers, good for a 2.8 key demo rating, while The CW’s “Supernatural” averaged 2.07 million viewers and fell just short of clearing a 1.0 in the key demo rating, averaging a 0.9.
10 p.m. – CBS held the line with “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation”, which did 11.99 million viewers and a 2.6 rating in the key demo. “SNL Christmas” dropped significantly in its second hour, garnering 6.5 million viewers and a 2.5 key demo rating for the peacock network, while ABC’s “Nashville” placed third with 5.65 million viewers and a 1.8 key demo rating.
Though CBS was the big winner, this is excellent news for The X Factor, which is gaining steam as the season winds down, and the success of Christmas-themed programming means that the networks might not have to worry so much about this year’s winter hiatuses for its major series. Well, at least not until the holiday passes.
Full story: HitFix